NTUC FairPrice in talks to bring in more anti-mosquito items

A customer shops for remaining stocks of insect repellent products on Sept 2, 2016.
A customer shops for remaining stocks of insect repellent products on Sept 2, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Mosquito repellent products are out of stock for the time being at supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice amid the outbreak of the Zika virus, but the chain is in talks "with a wide range of suppliers" to bring in more supplies.

Its chief executive officer Seah Kian Peng told reporters on Friday (Sept2): "We understand the anxiety of the spread of Zika... The natural and human behaviour is to stock up, and the surge in demand has caused a temporary out of stock situation at our outlets."

But Mr Seah reassured consumers that the supermarket is working closely with suppliers to bring in more stocks and prices would remain stable, though he declined to further details of the timeline. He added: "Obviously, it will take some time."

He has urged the public to buy only what is necessary.

"When we bring in the stocks, don't rush. We will continue to bring stocks in regularly but if all of us buy 10 times more than what we need, no matter how much we bring in, it's going to be sold out very quickly," he said at an event to announce a pilot scheme to have supermarket staff educate consumers about returning trolleys.

In response to media queries on Wednesday (Aug31), a FairPrice spokesman said that it has seen a two-fold increase in the sale of repellent sprays, patches and insecticides.

Similarly, at Unity Pharmacy, the demand for these items has increased by three times at its 59 outlets here over the past few days.

Despite pictures of empty shelves circulating online in the past few days, many retailers maintained that they are sufficiently prepared to cope with the surge in demand for anti-mosquito products.